Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal


Fellow IEEE, Fellow AIMBE
Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor
Director, NSF IUCRC BRAIN University of Houston Site
Director, Noninvasive Brain-Machine Interface Systems Lab

Cullen College of Engineering
University of Houston
Aditional Information:

Member, National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research (NABMRR)

Co-Chair, IEEE SA IC Activity  Neurotechnology

Member, IEEE Brain Initiative Core Team for Brain-Machine Interfacing


Jose L. Contreras-Vidal, Ph.D., earned his Engineer’s degree from the Tecnologico de Monterrey (Mexico), the MSEE degree at the University of Colorado – Boulder, and the Ph.D. degree in Cognitive and Neural Systems from Boston University in 1994. He pursed postdoctoral training in computational clinical neuroscience at Arizona State University and the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). He was a fellow of the Instituto Iberoamericano, the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP), the International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), and the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM). He was a City of Paris Senior Fellow pursuing neuroimaging research at UMR-742 INSERM, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France. Dr. Contreras-Vidal is the Founder and Director of the Industry University Cooperative Research Center for Building Reliable Advances and Innovations in Neurotechnologies (IUCRC BRAIN) at the University of Houston funded in part by the National Science Foundation. He is also the PI and Director of the NSF REU Site Neurotechnologies to Help the Body Move, Heal, and Feel Again, to provide research opportunities for undergraduate students from under-represented groups. Dr. Contreras-Vidal was elected to the rank of Fellow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his contributions to brain-machine interfaces (BMI) and wearable exoskeletons, and to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (AIMBE) for pioneering contributions to development of brain-machine interfaces for controlling wearable exoskeletons for rehabilitation, and for mapping art-evoked brain activity.


Dr. Contreras-Vidal regularly serves in NSF and NIH review panels and he is currently a member of the NIH’s National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research (NABMRR). The Board advises the directors of NIH, NICHD, and the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NCMRR) on matters and policies relating to NCMRR’s programs. He also serves in the editorial boards of IEEE Human Machine Systems, Frontiers in Neuroprosthetics, the International Journal of Mobile Computer Interaction, and Brain-Computer Interfaces. Dr. Contreras-Vidal’s innovative and transformative research in BMI, neuroprosthetics, and wearable exoskeletons has led to four patents (US 11,052,249, US 20150012111 A1, US D783820 S1,  and US 9468541) and 2 patents pending (WO2017218661A1; PCT/US2017/037457).  Dr. Contreras-Vidal has been a PI on federally funded grants (NIH, NSF, DARPA) for 20+ years, and his work has also been supported by industry and foundations. Dr. Contreras-Vidal’s research is highlighted regularly in the scientific and public media, including The Economist, NPR, Nature, Science, New York Times, National Public Radio, the Society for Neuroscience, and the Wall Street Journal to name a few. His career in biomedical engineering has been profiled in Science. 


  • Neural, Cognitive, and Rehabilitation Engineering
  • Brain-Machine Interfaces; Neuromodulation; Exoskeletons
  • Brain-to-Brain Interfaces; Neuroaesthetics
  • Neural Basis of Creativity; Art-Science Collaboration
  • NeuroArt Therapies; Neural Interfaces Standards; Regulatory Science.